Infratemporal fossa

Infratemporal fossa

The infratemporal fossa is an irregularly shaped cavity, situated below and medial to the zygomatic arch.


It is bounded by the following structures:

it has no floor

Contents of the infratemporal fossa


  • the lower part of the Temporalis muscle
  • the Pterygoidei internus and externus (internal and external pterygoid muscle)


The internal maxillary vessles, consisting of the maxillary artery originating from the external carotid artery and its branches.

Internal maxillary branches found within the infratemporal fossa including the


  • pterygoid venous plexus


Mandibular nerve, inferior alveolar nerve, lingual nerve, buccal nerve, chorda tympani nerve, and otic ganglion.

Mandibular nerve

Motor branches:

Its motor fibers innervate all the muscles of mastication plus the mylohyoid, anterior belly of the digastric, and the tensores veli palati and tympani

Sensory innervation:


The foramen ovale and foramen spinosum open on its roof, and the alveolar canals on its anterior wall.

At its upper and medial part are two fissures, which together form a T-shaped fissure, the horizontal limb being named the inferior orbital, and the vertical one the pterygomaxillary.


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